How to Prepare Numerical Ability for IBPS Clerk 2020

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

How to Prepare Quantitative Aptitude for IBPS Clerk 2020 is the most common question among students as this section test your numerical ability and the problem-solving skills. The Numerical Ability (Quantitative Aptitude for Mains) section carries a total 35 marks (35 Questions, each of 1 mark) in the Preliminary exam and 50 marks (50 Questions, 1 mark each) in the Mains exam of IBPS Clerk.

As Quantitative Aptitude is one of the most intricate sections of bank exams, it is essential to prepare beforehand to face even the most challenging questions. To help you prepare for the Quantitative Aptitude for IBPS Clerk 2020, we have shared below the best tips that will help you score 25+ marks in the exam.

In the previous few exams conducted by IBPS, especially that of SBI PO, SBI Clerk, BOB, NIACL, etc, the pattern, or more specific topics were varied in each slot. Even the topics that are usually asked in the Mains phase, i.e. Input-Output and Data Sufficiency were also asked in the Prelims exams.
This is a clear indication of the increasing level of IBPS Exams and hence, you need to keep your preparation against the latest pattern changes as well as exam level. 
Keeping this in mind, here are some important Numerical Ability tips for you. 

Tips to Prepare Numerical Ability for IBPS Clerk Prelims 2020

First and foremost, a quick glance at the topics that are expected to be asked in this year’s IBPS Clerk Prelims exam as well as their proportion in the exam. 

(You can expect the below-mentioned topics to be rotated in different shifts of this exam).

Data Interpretation (Tabular, Pie, Line, Caselet, and Bar graph)

5-10 Questions

Simplification/ Approximation

8-10 Questions

Number Series

5 Questions

Quadratic Equation

5 Questions (Yes, Quadratic Equations are usually not asked in IBPS Clerk Prelims exam, but given the changing exam pattern, it is better to prepare each and every topic)

Data Sufficiency

0-5 Questions 

Quantity Based Problems

0-5 Questions

Arithmetic Questions including

  • Age-based Problems
  • Averages, Ratios, Proportions
  • Profit, Loss and Discount
  • Partnerships
  • Simple & Compound Interest
  • Time, Work & Wages
  • Pipes & Cisterns
  • Mixture & Alligation
  • Boats & Streams
  • Mensuration
  • Probability
  • Time, Speed and Distance

10-12 Questions

Now, let us have a look at the important tips and tricks that will help you score better marks in this section of IBPS Clerk Prelims Exam.

  • You need to have a very clear time division for this section. As we have repeatedly mentioned earlier, Prelims phase is basically a test of your speed and accuracy. Since the Quantitative Aptitude section is usually calculative, try to attempt maximum questions in 20 minutes.
  • If you are unable to solve any particular question in 45-50 seconds, it would be better to skip it initially, rather than waste more time on it. You should invest this time on the more easily doable questions instead.
  • Since IBPS has started varying topics in each shift, you cannot rely on certain specific topics to get you through the sectional cutoff. Hence, clear your concepts of each and every topic asked in the numerical ability section and make sure that you have a thorough practice of them.
  • Your calculation speed will play a crucial role in determining your numerical ability score in this exam. So, pay proper attention to improving your calculation speed. 

We will now have a look at some topic-wise tips that will help you score better.


You should have a thorough practice of the questions based on BODMAS application.  Questions from this topic are usually the easiest in the section and hence, it is imperative that you practice these questions very properly since this topic can easily fetch you 8-10 marks in the exam.

How to solve Simplification/ Approximation

Number Series

To attempt questions from this topic accurately, it is important that you recognize the pattern of the series and this comes with regular practice. If you are able to figure out the pattern of the series in the first 30 seconds, proceed with the question, otherwise, move on to the next one.

Remember, these questions are usually based on basic arithmetic operations or their combination.  

This topic is comparatively less time to consume and at the same time scoring. You just need to carefully observe the pattern.  You can go through the link below to find out details of number series.

How to solve Number Series

Data Interpretation

Last year, a tabular DI was asked in almost all the slots and the questions were not very calculative. However, practice some calculative sets of tabular, pie, bar and line-based graphs as well. Again, a good calculation speed will be helpful in solving these questions in less time.

DI BasicsPie ChartTable Chart, Bar GraphLine GraphMixed GraphMissing D.I

Quadratic Equations

Questions from quadratic equations are usually not asked in the Prelims exam of IBPS Clerk. However, given the changing level of IBPS Exams this year, we would advise you not to skip this topic completely. Have a thorough practice of factorization based quadratic questions for the exam.

How to solve Quadratic Equations

Data Sufficiency Questions:

In quantitative aptitude, Data Sufficiency is an important topic which is widely asked in banking and other competitive exams. It just requires your understanding of the various arithmetic topics. The best part of this topic is you do not have to solve to complete question. As the name suggests, you just have to figure out what statements is/are required to answer the given question. Now, let’s have a look at the approach you should follow while solving these questions. 

Data Sufficiency Study Notes

Miscellaneous Arithmetic Questions

We have shared the topics asked under this segment above. To score better in the miscellaneous sections, it is important that you have a clear understanding of the concepts and approach to solving these questions. Revise the formulas used in different topics properly and make sure that you attempt questions based on their application.

Concluding, we would just like to add that no matter how much you mug up the short tricks or formulas of different topics unless you practice questions based on them thoroughly, they will be of no use in e the am. So, Practice! Because that is the only way to excel in this section!

Quantitative Aptitude Quizzes: After clearing your basic concepts, you can practice quizzes of different topics from the given link given.

Quantitative Aptitude Quiz


Also check: 

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